Trauma, PTSD and CPTSD
Post traumatic stress disorder, Complex PTSD, childhood trauma, developmental trauma, relational trauma are all in the continuum of trauma that I help people to heal from. There are Big T traumas and little t traumas. Big T traumas are events that happen when your survival is threatened, (or you believe it is) and you are powerless to do anything about it. Big T traumas are most often linked with PTSD. Experiences like witnessing or experiencing violence, car crashes, natural disasters, sexual violence, war etc People go into fight, flight or freeze responses in these situations. Freeze is reserved for when fight or flight do not work. It is the undischarged freeze response which is the most damaging to an individual. Adults who had 5 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (Felitti ACE study) are much more likely to suffer from a wide range of physical diseases, psychological problems, and addictions, than those with fewer childhood traumas.
Little t traumas are experiences that are personally damaging or distressing where your survival is not threatened, it could include verbal abuse, bullying, emotional abuse, loss of a loved one or public shaming, abandonment and neglect. Events that happen over and over again tend to be more damaging.
Trauma and abuse before the age of 6 affect a person differently than when you are older than this. This is because a young child’s brain development means that the child has brain waves of delta up to 2 and theta up to 6. These are the brain waves of someone in a hypnogogic or deep hypnotic trance. This allows a chid to download huge amounts of information. It also means that anything less than nurturing that a child experiences and any limiting beliefs or damaging messages that are the conclusion of the child are downloaded as truth for instance, ‘I am stupid’. Until this is healed and released that person will continue to believe this ‘truth’. Up to age 6 the child is also egocentric. They understand the world through the lens of, ‘it is all about me.’ This means they blame themselves for any abuse or traumas that happens to them.
When something reminds the subconscious mind of an original, unresolved trauma there is a trauma reaction. The person may return, quicker than thought into fight, flight or freeze mode, an allergic reaction and/or regress into a younger aspect of themselves (eg I felt like I was 5 or 14)
Other symptoms of trauma are trauma bonding, trauma repetition, trauma pleasure, trauma splitting, trauma blocking, trauma reactions, trauma shame, and trauma abstinence or deprivation. Unless the trauma is released it can cause havoc in relationships.